AAPI Heritage Month on Tumblr

*I didn’t know Keye Luke from the movies, I primarily knew him as the blind, but wise ancient master from the series Kung Fu, whose reflexes were faster than his pupil’s, when it came to pebbles. I was absolutely delighted to find this floating in my Tumblr feed, and  to find he was a talented visual artist, too. He was my favorite character on the show and it’s obviously because he was such an exemplary actor. (Please visit this blog. It’s a great place celebrating East Asian actors on American TV.)

eastasiansonwesternscreen theacademy
theacademy: “ KEYE LUKE, ACTOR AND ARTIST Keye Luke (1904-1991), the Chinese-American actor whose Hollywood career spanned seven decades, made his screen debut in an uncredited supporting role in The Painted Veil (1934), but his big break came when...


Keye Luke (1904-1991), the Chinese-American actor whose Hollywood career spanned seven decades, made his screen debut in an uncredited supporting role in The Painted Veil (1934), but his big break came when he was cast as Lee Chan, detective Charlie Chan’s “Number One Son,” at Fox (soon to become Twentieth Century-Fox). The Chan series, starring Warner Oland, had begun several years earlier, but really hit its stride when Luke stepped in as a sleuthing sidekick and youthful comic foil for Oland. Both are seen below in Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937).

Luke appeared with Oland in eight of the Chan films, and their on-screen by-play was reflective of a genuine warmth between the two actors. Luke departed the series following Oland’s death in 1938 but remained active as a character actor for various studios. (He later reprised the Lee Chan role in the final two Chan films, produced at Monogram in the late 1940s, although by then he was slightly older than Roland Winters, the actor playing his father.)

Luke later scored a great success on Broadway in 1958 as a member of the original cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song, and he also became a familiar presence on network television, both as a frequent guest star and in the recurring role of Master Po on the Kung Fu series from 1972 to 1975. He made memorable big-screen appearances in The Chairman(1969), opposite Gregory Peck, and in both Gremlins films for director Joe Dante. His final role was as Dr. Yang in Woody Allen’s Alice (1990).

What’s less well known about Keye Luke, however, is that his initial ambition – and his first employment in Hollywood – was not as an actor but as an artist. Although born in China, he grew up in Seattle, and showed great talent from an early age. His youthful work included cartoons and beautiful line drawings for his high school newspaper and yearbook, and upon graduation he established himself as a commercial artist.

His first job after coming to Los Angeles in 1928 was as an advertising illustrator for Fox West Coast Theatres, and he was soon hired to create special advertising art for Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. He also executed several of the theatre’s interior murals, and occasionally designed elaborate souvenir programs for selected film premieres, among them King Kong (seen below),Little Women and Strange Interlude. He was working as an artist in the publicity department at RKO when his former boss there, who had moved on to M-G-M, asked him to come over and test for the role in The Painted Veil.

The Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library Special Collections has recently received, as a gift from Mr. Luke’s granddaughter, the Keye Luke papers, a collection of his career memorabilia that includes numerous examples of his movie ad artwork from the early 1930s. Concurrently with his acting career, Luke lectured on art and exhibited his work in many venues, while still receiving occasional art-related assignments from the studios – as when he was hired to paint several large murals for the interior of Mother Gin Sling’s exotic dining room in Josef von Sternberg’s The Shanghai Gesture (1941), seen below (with actress Ona Munson).

He was also known to sketch portraits or caricatures of his fellow actors, many of which are also included in the Library’s collection. Below he shows his drawings to actresses Loretta Young (as she appears in The Farmer’s Daughter, 1947) and Anna May Wong.

keye luke classic hollywood history long post
*My Tumblr feed was also full of bios of famous Asian activists, I’d never heard of. Activism for Asian Americans isn’t new, it’s just been forgotten, along with a whole host of other people’s histories, and I’m glad to see its resurgence.
This is about the graphic image that was on Google several days ago, (and in the above photos), of Kochiyama, with a bullhorn. I had wondered who the woman was and why she was being honored on Google. Luckily, this appeared in my Tumblr feed the same day.



All Power To The People (Released: 1996)
Japanese-American Human Rights Activist Yuri Kochiyama

Happy birthday to both Yuri Kochiyama and Malcolm X today!

(via nethilia)


Today’s Google Doodle is in honor of human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama’s birthday.She would have been 95 today (she died in 2014 at the age of 93).

“It’s with great pleasure that Google celebrates Yuri Kochiyama, an Asian American activist who dedicated her life to the fight for human rights and against racism and injustice. Born in California, Kochiyama spent her early twenties in a Japanese American internment camp in Arkansas during WWII. She and her family would later move to Harlem, where she became deeply involved in African American, Latino, and Asian American liberation and empowerment movements. Today’s doodle by Alyssa Winans features Kochiyama taking a stand at one of her many protests and rallies.

Kochiyama left a legacy of advocacy: for peace, U.S. political prisoners, nuclear disarmament, and reparations for Japanese Americans interned during the war. She was known for her tireless intensity and compassion, and remained committed to speaking out, consciousness-raising, and taking action until her death in 2014.”

More info on Kochiyama

Photo: Yuri Kochiyama speaks at an anti-war demonstration in New York City’s Central Park around 1968. Courtesy of the Kochiyama family/UCLA Asian American Studies Center. (x)

Yuri Kochiyama japanese internment japanese american women japanese americanjapanese women activist activism women’s history herstory women activists wocwomen of color
 This is an article about what appropriation isn’t:



Cultural appropriation is real and can be very harmful, but Tumblr en masse has grossly misdefined it. Here are some examples of what isn’t cultural appropriation:

– Eating food from another culture
– Properly practicing a religion from another culture.
– Listening to music from another culture
– Reading literature from another culture
– Learning a new language
– Respectfully wearing clothing from another culture in an appropriate setting, such as overseas, at a cultural event, wedding, etc.
– Buying crafts from local craftsman.
– Respectfully participating in cultural activities such as yoga, dreidel, and belly dancing
– Respectfully wearing or using non-sacred icons or art from another culture, such as Chinese pottery or in some cases, henna.
– Trying out instruments and tools from another culture, such as chopsticks or traditional writing instruments

Many people from other cultures are actually offended when Americans try to fight “cultural appropriation”. For example, many Japanese people thought that criticism of Avril Lavigne’s video was laughably ignorant at best and racist at worst. Also, in many countries, Americans who refuse to partake in cultural activities or traditional dress out of fear of appropriation are seen as snobbish and entitled. Additionally, many religions actively encourage evangelization. Saying that religions traditionally practiced by non-white people cannot freely spread has some very racist implications.

Being culturally literate actively fights racial prejudice or ignorance. Taking the time to learn another culture’s history, values, perspective, and traditions makes people better citizens. For example, understanding how various cultures and religions view illness will help me be a better nurse. Cultural competence can only help society, and it prevents genuine, offensive cultural appropriation.

There are definitely some gray areas when it comes to cultural appropriation. Some Christians find non-Christians using crosses in fashion offensive, while some do not, for example. Intent can also carry some significance. For example, someone may fully understand the sacred meaning of the ankh and feel a strong spiritual connection to it. Another person may just think it looks cool. Both wear an ankh ring, but one would definitely not be appropriating while the other has entered a gray area.

Some cultural practices overlap as well. Tattooing has been practiced around the world by many cultures that didn’t come into contact with each other, for example. Meditation has also been practiced around the world. Buddhist mediation is arguably the best known, but nearly every culture and religion has one or more varieties of it. (I personally like the method practiced in Ancient Ireland best, because it’s the only one I personally know that allows one to think exclusively in words. It’s not physically possible for an NLDer to “turn off” verbal thinking, so most other forms of meditation are inaccessible.)

Historically, separating cultures often leads to cultural incompetence, xenophobia, discrimination, stereotyping, and racism. Cultural appropriation is bad, but that doesn’t make cultural segregation good.

hell yes to all of this post.

and I’d like to point out how many times it says “respectfully” or “properly”. this is important, people. read it and understand it.

Something more about food: it’s not cultural appropriation to experiment and create new food from someone else’s traditional food.

Tempura was Japanese/Portuguese fusion (Japanese cooks “stealing” a Portuguese idea). Spaghetti with meatballs is Italian/American (you won’t find it in Italy, as you won’t find “pepperoni” or pineapple pizza). Pasta alla carbonara was invented by Italians who got some US soldiers’ rations during WWII (I wouldn’t ask too loud how women of a country destroyed by war got food from soldiers who didn’t even speak the same language, btw). Hot curry powder is a British/Indian invention (garam masala is not, at least in most cases, and I say “most cases” because food is always more complicated and alive than any tradition). Tomatoes and peppers are from the Americas, let’s just leave it at that. Chocolate as ingredient is Central American, it took Europe as a storm even before the Belgian van Houten invented the press to separate powder and butter (and make your usual chocolate bar). Potatoes have a fascinating history of being rejected by Europeans as a “savage (ie, Native American) food” and a “plot by noblemen and Jews” (the propaganda was very similar to today’s GMO debate); they were accepted as food in Europe only in late 1700 – *French* fries, indeed.

The most ancient tradition, a tradition that unifies every human culture, is **eat efficiently because you have to pile up nutrients and survive**.

(via thewickedandthehufflepuff)

(Please visit Feathers Tumblr where I found this post. Its got some beautiful and interesting art, too.)


Tags: food cultural appropriation food history




so when are we getting a big-budget feature film about the best lady pirate of all time and her #crew?

(her name is ching shih and she’s one of the coolest pirates ever)




Along with simply some lovely images of various Asian actors and actresses :

Melinda May smiling( requested by angeperalta )

eastasiansonwesternscreen acklesjensn

endless list of my favorite ladies: beverly katz
“certainty comes with the evidence.”

And of course, here’s an interview from my newest bae, Harry Shum:



Screen Therapy

Movies and Games as Tools For Building Emotional Intelligence

Lil’V aka Viv Lu

just someone writing fiction and giving opinions

Mindless Observation

Mindless or Meaningless?

El Paso P.O.V.

A critical look at EL Paso and the World with a Black Eye

Entertainment Weekly

BlerdWatching Waaay Too Much TV

Navigating Worlds

A husband and wife adventuring through fantasy worlds together

Tin Can Knits

modern seamless knits for the whole family

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

Stand Up Magazine - Empowering Millennials

The political magazine empowering young people.


Martial Arts Film Reviews From A Brother Who Loves Kung-Fu!

Feminist Frequency

Conversations with pop culture

Mikki Kendall

Proud descendant of Hex Throwing Goons

%d bloggers like this: